A New Look For Lake Regional Hospital

HMN Architects continued their long-term relationship with Lake Regional Health System (LRHS) by partnering with Lake Regional Hospital to renovate their existing hospital. There were three parts to the renovation project: Main Lobby, Outpatient Unit, and Family Birth Center. From a patient standpoint, the main goal of these renovation projects was to provide a more modern and efficient experience for all visitors.


The renovations were designed to set a new standard for all future projects in terms of design quality, both inside the hospital itself as well as extending to all the LRHS outreach clinics. The long-term goal was to provide a single unified design aesthetic that was highly visible in all of Lake Regional’s facilities. This aesthetic draws inspiration from the scenic lake landscape, incorporating a calming palette of blue tones and organic wave shapes.

Main Lobby

The flooring is one of many noticeable upgrades in the main lobby. Instead of the previous dark slate tiles, the new flooring is smooth and seamless, poured 100% real terrazzo stone floor. The terrazzo will feature three veins of different shades, which flow in an undulating, curving pattern from the entrance to the registration area. The floor design acts as a way-finding method to direct people to the rest of the hospital as well as a reflection of the gentle “wave” aesthetic that ties into Lake Regional’s branding. The new flooring does not have grout joints or individual tiles, which will make it both durable and easy-to-use for patients in wheelchairs or for staff to roll equipment and carts.

The registration area used to be in a separate building off the main lobby. This set-up was not efficient for patients. As part of the renovation project, the registration area was relocated to the main hospital lobby with a curved reception desk and ceiling. Near the registration desk is a corridor that has four registration bays. One of the most sensitive places for patient privacy is at registration. With individual registration rooms, patients are now able to register and converse with the hospital staff in a private setting. Frosted glass doors, glass dividers, and modern wood-look finishes are used continuously throughout the renovated areas.

A new information desk near the front entrance continues the theme with a curved stone wall behind a curved desk. The stone wall provides a backdrop for hospital signage and introduces natural stone into the interior finish palette of the hospital. The coffee shop was deconstructed to offer an open lounge area, which will encourage the use of the newly renovated courtyard. All the carefully coordinated furniture, artwork, and signage ties the entire lobby (and the rest of the public spaces) together.

It was essential to establish a consistent means of way-finding from the main lobby to the Emergency Department and inpatient entrance/lobby on the north side. A series of additions and renovations over the years left this pathway a muddled mix that is over-reliant on signage and confusing for visitors. New flooring, finishes, ceilings, and lighting has helped tie these two lobbies together through this connecting corridor. Since terrazzo was not a cost-effective solution for this corridor system, the flooring changes to a luxury vinyl tile – which will be a low-maintenance flooring solution that also maintains the three-colored and curved design of the terrazzo in both lobbies.

Outpatient Unit

Like the lobbies, the Outpatient Unit had become outdated in appearance. Compared to the rest of the hospital, the unit had zero consistency with aesthetics. As part of the renovation project, the new standards for finishes were applied to the new Outpatient Unit to reinforce the hospital’s brand image. The nurse stations and ceiling elements were curved with shades of blue and modern wood-tones.

Privacy was an issue in the former Outpatient Unit because only curtains separated all the bays. HMN was responsible for creating the right balance between patient privacy and space efficiency. The new patient bays now have full walls on the sides with a curtain at the front of each bay. The newly renovated unit increased the number of bays within the unit from 20 to 27. The primary nursing area is divided into two distinct sections, which makes it more convenient from a staff standpoint.


Family Birth Center

The new Family Birth Center will occupy a previously unused shell space on the third floor of the East Patient Tower. This new unit will provide a completely modern experience for expecting mothers, their newborns, and their families. The project also consisted of adding a pediatric-centered component to the nearby Inpatient Unit.

Arrival to the Family Birth Center will be streamlined; upon entering the Emergency Department, the bank of existing elevators can take patients and visitors directly to the third floor. Patients and visitors will then step directly into the new, dedicated Family Birth Center waiting room and lobby. Large existing windows will fill the space with natural light while the design of the space will continue to invoke the aesthetics of the new Lake Regional branding, matching the other renovated areas of this project. However, the color palette for the Family Birth Center was slightly modified to lighter wood tones and cooler blues to help create a softer and calming environment for the mom and supporting families. The wall with the TV in the waiting room is a shimmery, 3D decorative frame with waves that echo the hospital’s new branding.

The new Family Birth Center consists of 10 Labor, Delivery, Recovery, and Postpartum Rooms (LDRP), a nursery, a cesarean section operating room, and supporting nurse spaces. The support spaces in the unit help contribute towards the patient experience. A lactation room provides an infant changing area, a wet-sink area with refrigerator/freezer as well as a private pumping area with a lounge chair and TV so mom can sit comfortably. Meanwhile, a dedicated education room provides the ability for learning opportunities for expectant and new mothers and their families. There are six new patient rooms dedicated to pediatric care that were incorporated into the design so cross-trained hospital staff can float between the two areas easily.

The entryway to all the LDRP rooms is angled to protect the patient’s privacy. The rooms are designed to feel more like a modern hotel than a clinical space. The LDRP rooms are surrounded by decorative laminate panels with custom signage and curbed wave-like ceiling soffits. The patient’s headwall features a cool blue glass panel with wood-look laminate insets and metallic trim. Slim overbed lights in the ceiling offer a variety of lighting control options including a nightlight mode. Directly above the bed is a controllable airflow nozzle built into the ceiling for mom’s comfort.

The infant headwall is angled towards mom to increase visibility. It has been shown that being able to see the infant bassinets helps inspire moms during the labor process. It also features a decorative headwall surround with an abstract artistic scene meant to invoke the lushness of the Lake region behind a layer of glass. The door to the bathroom is a sliding door, which helps save space, and the frosted glass on the door doubles as a signboard for patient and nurse information. Inside each bathroom are ADA accessible roll-in showers with poured epoxy floors for durability, while decorative tile walls contribute further towards more of a hospitality-style of aesthetics rather than a traditional clinical hospital look.

When it comes to a birthing unit, security is one of the utmost vital aspects of the design and integration of technology. The new space meets the strictest of standards for patient care and safety. A full-time staff member at the reception desk helps to monitor traffic to and from the third floor. The Family Birth Center is secured behind a door that is integrated with an infant protection system that provides an extra layer of monitoring and security in the case of an attempted breach. The nurse station within the Family Birth Center has visual monitoring of the LDRP rooms and the nursery as well as video monitoring of the unit doors. Proper credentials will be required to access sensitive areas like the nursery.

To see more project photos, click here.

Posted on May 16, 2019
Category: Featured Projects

Please post a comment